Heeeelp – dandruff!

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Hey lovelies! I am sorry that I have been in hiding for so long. I have completely lost myself between the pages of my new book! I now squeezed the last bit of energy to write this post right after attending the recording of the “Big Game of the Night”  TV show which was incredible! That is my first ever TV show which will air on Channel 2 already in December. And since I got such a positive charge from there, I wanted to use that same energy to write this blog post. The topic itself however is not so positive – I want to touch on the subject of scalp and the health of our hair. As this is something I have been dealing with myself lately I am writing this in the hopes that it might help some of you too.

 

What are the main issues affecting the health of your scalp/hair?

I have been affected by a relatively terrible problem recently. Not sure if it has to do with stress, overload of work, not sleeping enough of the change of the climate… but I have been battling with dandruff! This is something that I have never had to deal with before. My hair has always been healthy and my scalp has been clear. Now,  the moment I started writing my new book, I am accompanied by dandruff. I am sure you can imaging it’s not something I want to be dealing with, especially when most of my life is in front of the public eye.

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Aside from my own personal problem, there are other common conditions such as seborrheic dermatitis, excess oil production and psoriasis. So let’s look at them more closely – what causes it, how to prevent or improve it.

 

Dandruff

Starting with the most common problem, dandruff: a condition of the scalp that causes flakes of skin to appear. The main causes for dandruff are:

  • increased oil-production
  • hormonal fluctuation
  • stress
  • washing your hair too often/not regularly enough
  • seasonal changes
  • illness
  • neurological diseases, such as Parkinson’s disease
  • weak immune system
  • hypersensitivity to yeast
  • genetics

The good news is that dandruff can be controlled quite easily. In most cases it is enough to wash your hair daily which helps reduce the flaking and excess oil production. There are a number of anti-dandruff shampoos on the market that are suitable for daily use. As I have been dealing with dandruff lately I decided to try something I had personally never heard of – a scalp exfoliant. It works wonders when it comes to clearing your scalp!

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I found the scrub on the new Bottega Verde online shop (the Italian brand I have talked about in my previous posts). The Zenzero exfoliant cleanses the scalp, regulates the oil production and invigorates your scalp. It contains crushed peach stones, ginger extract and tea tree oil. Massage it gently to your towel dry hair to scrub your scalp. Rinse it off and wash your hair as you normally would with your usual shampoo. It works really well however the cause of my dandruff is stress from overworking. I wish I could just drop everything and anti-stress but the book needs finishing and I don’t want to leave you without attention either. The Bottega Verde scrub helps at least control the dandruff.

 

Seborrheic dermatitis

Seborrheic dermatitis is a skin condition that can cause rough, scaly skin on the scalp and face. It can also cause hair loss, pimples and eczema as a result. Seborrheic dermatitis usually occurs chronically and worsens in the spring or autumn. Yeast also plays a role in inflammation and unfortunately it is a chronic disease that can only be controlled but not cured. You should avoid strong aggressive shampoos when treating your scalp and hair. Instead, special shampoos with medicinal properties containing antiseptic components and anti-fungal and anti-inflammatory properties should be used.

 

Psoriasis

In most cases, hereditary scalp psoriasis may appear without any other damage to the skin or may occur with other forms of psoriasis. The most commonly found psoriasis plaques are in the area of the back of the neck but the it impossible for the whole scalp to be damaged. Typical lesions are reddish, thick, silver-gray chains, which can spread beyond the hairline, neck, forearms and behind the ears.

 

Sensitive scalp

Sensitive scalp is an increasingly common problem today. Many people have problems with itchy or red scalp. The main contributing factors are stress, metabolic and hormonal disorders, and vitamin deficiencies. Sensitivity is also caused by external factors such as contaminated environment, excessive heat (blowdrying your hair), inadequate hair care after colouring and wrong products used as part of your daily hair care routine.

 

Excess oil

Every pore on your skin has a sebaceous gland, including your scalp. Better known as oil glands, these are responsible for maintaining proper hydration levels by producing sebum (oil). However, some sebaceous glands produce excess oil, making your hair greasy. This issue can be caused by several factors:

  • hormonal disorders
  • bad diet
  • stress
  • chemical or mechanical factors
  • external influences

Avoid fatty foods full of carbohydrates to regulate excess oil and add fruit and vegetables, as well as foods containing vitamins A and B to your daily diet. Vitamin B deficiency causes problems in oil production and regulation making your hair dull, dry and break easily. Avoid hot water, blowdrying and keep hair finishing products away from the scalp. Conditioner should only be used to add moisture to the ends of your hair.

 

How to take better care your hair and scalp?

Bottega Verde has a range of new products free of parabens, silicones and added colour that are  perfect when you are suffering with this particular issue. The Zenzero shampoo is deep-cleansing and ideal for those with oily scalp and split ends. The shampoo balances the oil production while strengthening the hair from the scalp all the way to the ends. It contains ginger extract and betaine (an amino acid that helps keep your hair moisturised).

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After washing your hair with the shampoo it is recommended to use the Argan hair mask which is perfect for damaged hair and split ends. Leave it in your hair for 10 minutes to let the argan butter and oil work its magic.

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After rinsing out the mask, spray the leave-in conditioner to your towel dry hair. The conditioner contains ginger extract and caffeine, strengthening your hair and stimulating your scalp.

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If you want added protection for your hair during the cold season, I recommend using the Argan oil which nourishes your dry, damaged hair. You need the smallest amount to keep the ends moisturised!

Do you suffer from any of the above-mentioned problems? How have you dealt with it and do you have any recommendations for others? How often do you wash your hair and what are your favourite hair care products?

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